Modernizing an 80's Oak Kitchen on a Tiny Budget

Kitchen 2 hours ago
Previously, this kitchen (originally installed in 1988) was too monochromatic. The color of the cabinets and the floors was too similar and the small island was lost in sea of golden oak. The awful drop ceiling fluorescent light was extremely dated and the lack of cabinet hardware only emphasized the arched paneled doors which didn't feel very modern..
I stained the center island dark brown, and painted the cabinets a warm cream color (Manchester Tan by Benjamin Moore) I added hardware to the cabinets and removed the old fluorescent lights which I replaced with 2 pendants and some LED cans. I tiled the backsplash with pencil tile to accentuate the generic granite countertops. I also updated the kitchen faucet and removed a few cabinet doors to break up the monotony of the cabinet doors.
The entire transformation (including the new Bosch appliance suite) came in under $3500. I did all the work myself, including the electrical, plumbing and tiling. The transformation took a little less than 3 weeks.
For more information about this project (including more photos and detailed tutorials) please visit:
#BudgetUpgrade #powerofpaint #ModernKitchen
A new ceiling semi-flush chandelier and trim to hide the drywall damage replace a fluorescent box light
A pencil tile backsplash modernized the space
A dark stained island contrasts with the light cabinets everywhere else.
Before and after
Before and after (including a new 'open shelving' cabinet that had the door removed and decorative brackets added to make it feel less like a door-less cabinet
It is a huge transformation

To see more:

  • Js33hoops
    Question? What color white is shown in this cabinetry?
  • Ruthstar
    I too have the 1980's cathedral style cabinet doors in golden oak that have turned orangey over the years. It is being suggested to get rid of the cabinet doors because no one has cathedral doors anymore. It is great to see what you have done to
    • TheKimSixFix
      TheKimSixFix San Francisco, CA
      Ruthstar I think the monochromatic finish really tones down the arches. For what it is worth, they still sell this style of door so they arent' completely obsolete.
  • Theresia Roberts
    Theresia Roberts Crestview, FL
    I have those exact cabinets and after 30 years they have a lot of wear. I've been wanting to replace the doors, but you have inspired me to paint instead. Gorgeous kitchen!
  • Allison
    Allison Aurora, CO
    The ceiling transformation is wonderful! I have seen the "before" in lots of homes, and it's not good. Great change, how, who did that part, please?
  • Marcy
    Marcy Southfield, MI
    Really amazing transformation!
  • Donna
    Donna Canada
    Beautiful job!
  • Heliane Ripley
    It looks like a brand new and very expensive kitchen now. You did a fantastic job with it.
  • Susan Keogh
    This looks great well done you I would like to know what paint you used and will it flake off ?
    • TheKimSixFix
      TheKimSixFix San Francisco, CA
      Susan Keogh I used Benjamin Moore Regal Select and it has been more than 4 years and the paint still looks FANTASTIC. I have only nicked the paint in one place where I accidentally scratched it with a very sharp knife.
  • Beatrice Burlie
    no mention of a new counter but it looks like you replaced that as well? Looks lovely :)
  • Sharon
    Sharon Chebanse, IL
    Looks great! Hope to be updating my kitchen this spring/summer.
  • Connie A. Ewing
    Connie A. Ewing Port Orchard, WA
    WOW...It's stinkin' gorgeous! what are you doing this weekend? Bring your checkbook! lol.
  • Lee Schafer
    Lee Schafer Reno, NV
    I also have those cabinets.
  • Esther Hunt
    Esther Hunt Ireland
    It's soooooo elegant and the colour makes the kitchen look bigger! Well done you!😉
  • Margaret
    Margaret Decatur, GA
    You AND your kitchen rock. Beautiful kitchen.
  • Genie Hall
    Genie Hall Machias, ME
    where did you get the light in the kitchen